Two units of a new gas-fired power plant in Vietnam will feature the first use of General Electric’s (GE’s) H-Class turbine in the country.
GE on May 16 announced that PetroVietnam Power Corp.’s (PV Power’s) Nhon Trach 3 & 4 Power Plant, with 1.6 GW of generation capacity, will use two GE 9HA.02 gas turbines. It also will be the first power station in Vietnam fueled by liquefied natural gas (LNG).
The new units are expected to provide electricity for three large industrial areas in the southern region of the country including Ho Chi Minh City, Dong Nai, and Ba Ria–Vung Tau provinces.
LNG projects are being developed in Vietnam as the country tries to wean itself off coal-fired power generation, which supplies about half the country’s electricity. Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh in November of last year said Vietnam wants to achieve net-zero carbon emissions by 2050.
The country’s ruling Communist Party has said it does not want to build nuclear power plants, and in 2016 scrapped plans for reactors backed by both Japan and Russia. Renewable energy has been slow to develop in Vietnam, and government officials have said they see the use of LNG as the best route to move away from coal in the next several years. They also have said growing gas-fired generation will support a coal-to-gas transition, and support the use of renewable energy as that sector is developed by enhancing the reliability and stability of the power grid.
“Renewable energy is expected to grow significantly in Vietnam while at the same time, lower-carbon and highly efficient gas power generation will play a crucial role in supporting this growth while ensuring grid stability and reliability,” said Ramesh Singaram, president and CEO Asia, GE Gas Power. “This first-of-its-kind project is expected to open up a new chapter for gas power generation in Vietnam, and we are proud to begin developing the first HA project in the country, in alignment with its national energy goals for a more sustainable national economic growth.”
Vietnamese media have reported that the country has more than 20 LNG-fueled power plants in development and design stages, including the two units at Nhon Trach, which are sited in Ong Keo Industrial Park in the Nhon Trach district, about 45 miles southeast of Ho Chi Minh City. The new units join the existing Nhon Trach 1 and Nhon Trach 2 power plants, which together have 1.2 GW of generation capacity.
Nhon Trach 1 came online in August 2009. The plant is equipped with two GE-supplied GT13E2 gas turbines capable of running on fuel gas and fuel oil. Nhon Trach 2, which was commissioned in October 2011, features two Siemens-manufactured SGT5-4000F gas turbines.
GE on Monday said the company and PV Power on May 11 signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to “develop solutions to improve the efficiency of the existing Nhon Trach 1 power plant and develop long-term cooperation on the maintenance for Nhon Trach 3 & 4.” The MOU was signed and exchanged between GE and PV Power during Prime Minister Chính’s visit last week to Washington, D.C.
GE said the company’s GE 9HA.02 gas turbine is “the company’s most efficient 50 Hz gas turbine,” and said it also is supplying an STF-D650 steam turbine, a W88 generator, an Once Through Heat Recovery Steam Generator (OT HRSG), and GE’s integrated Mark* VIe Distributed Control System (DCS) for the Nhon Trach expansion.
GE said the “OT HRSG technology is a key enabler in advanced water-steam cycles delivering higher combined cycle efficiency, while Mark* VIe control systems will help PV Power improve asset visibility, reliability, and availability while reducing operating and maintenance costs.”
The plant will be supplied with LNG from PetroVietnam Gas, which earlier this year said it plans to test run its Thi Vai LNG terminal in the fourth quarter of 2022. The terminal is the first operational LNG terminal in Vietnam.
—Darrell Proctor is a senior associate editor for POWER (@POWERmagazine).